On Easter Saturday night at Bairnsdale Speedway four race divisions competed on the final show of the clubs season with two feature events for Wingless Sprints and Standard Saloons supported by Sprintcar and Limited Sportsman competition. The Gary Bowden Memorial Cup for Wingless Sprints would be won in emphatic fashion by Travis Millar whilst in Standard Saloon competition the Easter Classic was won by Glen Pendlebury.
Alistair Bastian was sensational on his way to a LS Sprintcar feature event win whilst Tim McKenzie won the Limited Sportsman final.
Wingless Sprintcar entrants were honouring the late Bairnsdale man Gary Bowden who was heavily involved with Bairnsdale Speedway, the Wingless Sprints and local business before passing away a few years ago. It meant more to others to win the event and in the end, working his way from ninth spot on the grid Travis Millar who was racing when Bowden was involved with Wingless Sprints went on to storm his way to the front and go on to the win.
Millar had to pass eight other drivers on his way to the win that included Kim-Loong Gosling, Michael Lovell, Viv Rockliff, Daniel Mayson, Brad Foster, Jamie Mills, Steve Loader and Travis Evans.
Evans led the first seven laps before losing the front running position to Loader. By lap nine Millar was in third spot chasing Evans and Loader and he had the lead by lap thirteen of thirty. From there he was never headed and went on to win from Mills, Loader, Evans and Brad Foster with Millar at times half a second per lap faster than others.
In qualifying events Morwell racer Darryl Logue had a big crash in turn one finishing his night, shaken and a little stirred.
Millar was delighted with the importance of the race win. “Bowden was an important piece of the Victorian and in particular the Gippsland Wingless Sprint puzzle when we were trying to solidify the class. It is important that we honour those that gave up so much time to establish this great class. I am proud to be the winner of the Gary Bowden Memorial Cup.”
In the Easter Classic for Standard Saloons Glen Pendlebury was up against tough competition from another local Bairnsdale member Josh Thomas along with Jacob Vuillermin, Kane Gibson, Patrick Vuillermin and Matt Bowers amongst others.
The twenty lap final event was led from the start by Pendlebury with Thomas chasing ahead of Jacob Vuillermin. It took until lap nineteen for there to be a change in second place with Vuillermin passing Thomas, however Pendlebury went on to an all the way win ahead of Jacob and Patrick Vuillermin, Bowers and Thomas rounding out the top five finishers.
In the Sprintcar feature event following the Victorian title the night before at Rosedale Speedway, Alistair Bastian and Daniel Orr began from the front of the field after the qualifying heat runs. Bastian blew away from the field on lap one with Orr, Mark Laity, Adam Greenwood and Justin Bowen chasing.
On lap three Bowen had a big crash between turns three and four leaving the first time driver out of the race. Until then he was quick and had shown enough to warrant another go in Sprintcar racing down the line. At the ten lap mark Bastian was still in command ahead of Orr, Greenwood, Peter Laity and Michael Evans and by lap thirteen new Victorian champion Mark Noonan moved into fourth as Peter Laity exited the race. At the chequered flags, Bastian had taken the win from Orr, Greenwood, Noonan and Evans.
Another driver to suffer big damage earlier was Dillon Siely who had just made a sensational turn one and two pass around three other entrants before he slammed into the back straight concrete two thirds of the way down. That ended his night with the car severely damaged.
Finally the Limited Sportsman put on some very good racing in a small field with Mark Both, Tim McKenzie and Chris Woeltjes giving Darren Adams a hard time. Both initially led the feature race from McKenzie, Woeltjes and Adams before Both’s car suffered front end breakage and Woeltjes slammed his car into the back straight concrete wall. McKenzie then worked his steering wheel hard to hold out Adams and at the drop of the chequered flag victory was his with Adams finishing second and Brett Maxwell back in third place.
The Bairnsdale Speedway Club season is now over and the volunteers and drivers plan ahead for the presentation night and for next season.
The Bairnsdale Speedway Clubs sponsors list includes:
M & S Laity Hay Contractors – Wiseleigh
W.G.I Earthmoving & Heavy Haulage – Bairnsdale
East Gippsland Locks & Keys – Bairnsdale
TRFM & Gold 1242
Bairnsdale Automotive & Transmissions – Bairnsdale
Riviera Tyre Service – Bairnsdale
Eyecare Plus – Bairnsdale
Riviera Concrete – Bairnsdale
Dennison Quality Roofing – Bairnsdale
A1 Trailers – Bairnsdale
Autobarn – Bairnsdale
Phase Link Electrics – Paynesville
Carpet World – Bairnsdale East
Westpoint Motors – Bairnsdale
Curtis Engineering – Bairnsdale
Patties Foods – Australia
Reece Plumbing – Bairnsdale
East Gippsland Plumbing –Bairnsdale
Tambo Waste – Bairnsdale
U Pick Car Wreckers – Morwell
Logues Auto Wreckers – Morwell
Buchan Towing – Buchan
Great Southern Kitchens – Bairnsdale
Cheap Tyres – Morwell
Apco – Bairnsdale
Clifton Mobile Homes – Bairnsdale
Zac’s Firewood Services – Bairnsdale
Mitchell Valley Excavations – Lindenow
ARB 4 x 4 – Bairnsdale
Lakes Entrance Tyre Service
Egee Printers – Bairnsdale
SS Auto wholesalers – Bairnsdale
Bristol Paint – Bairnsdale
Dwyer’s Toyota – Bairnsdale
Tim Bull MP – Member for Gippsland East